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article imageGreen retail sales set to double in Europe by 2015

By Paris Franz     May 31, 2010 in Business
Sales of environmentally friendly products are set to double in Europe by 2015, although higher costs will still deter many shoppers.
The price of green products is generally higher than for ordinary goods, and this has proved to be the main barrier to mass consumer uptake. The Centre for Retail Research (CRR), in a report commissioned by shopping comparison website Kelkoo, forecast the price premium on "green" products across Europe would shrink from 46 percent to 40.5 percent by 2012, although this was still too high for many consumers.
"Green products will not become commonplace until suppliers give consumers better price incentives in-store and online to follow their consciences," Bruce Fair, managing director of Kelkoo UK, told Reuters.
The CRR study defines green products as ones that are environmentally friendly, sustainable, avoid excessive inputs of energy for production or distribution, and can be easily recycled They cover a range of items, from hybrid cars to energy-efficient light bulbs and recycled paper. The CRR said such sales soared from 10.3 billion euros (£8.7 billion) in 2000 to 56 billion euros (£47.5 billion) in 2009, and forecast they would more than double to 114 billion euros (£96.8 billion) by 2015.
Although total sales of green products have increased, market shares remain small. As a proportion of overall retail sales, green market shares vary across Europe from just 2 percent in Spain to 3.5 percent in Germany. The report concludes that the sector should continue to grow, as long as suppliers make green products available at a reasonable price to fuel customer demand.
European households currently spend 369 euros on average a year on green products, with Swiss consumers spending the most (555 euros) and Spaniards the least (315 euros).
More about Green products, Environmentally friendly products, Green retail
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